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Grammar of Biblical Hebrew

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Wolfgang Schneider

Although Wolfgang Schneider’s Grammatik des biblischen Hebräisch: Ein Lehrbuch serves primarily as an introductory textbook to biblical Hebrew, it makes an invaluable contribution to the text-linguistic study of Hebrew Bible. Schneider’s understanding of narrative syntax and discourse linguistics continues to influence such grammarians as Niccacci and Talstra, through whom his work is validated. His discussion of clauses and text syntax remains pertinent to Hebrew students and professors alike. With this English translation, Schneider’s work may now make a worldwide contribution to biblical studies by clarifying for the student the contribution of text grammar to the reading of the biblical text.
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24 Verbs: General Comments on Formation

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24.1 Terms

A root (hebr.: שֹׁ֫רֶשׁ) is the unit of (most of the time) three consonants, from which one can reduce all forms of a word of same or similar meaning.1

A radical is an individual consonant of a root (lat.: “radix”).

A group of verb forms that have the same way of formation is called a stem. In a stem, the fundamental meaning of a root is modified in particularly regular ways (→ § 29).2

“Conjugation,” “stem modification” or “Binyanim” (בִּנְיָנִים, singular: בִּינְיָן) are other technical terms for the “stems” of a verb.

The base stem of a verb is the one that carries the simple, unmodified, active meaning, and is called “Qal” (hebr. קַל = “simple”).

24.2 Existence of Forms

Overview

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